ASU keyboards, again

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Wed Aug 27 15:23:09 CEST 2008

On Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:20:34 +0100 Who <mailforwho at> babbled:

> On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 1:40 PM, The Rasterman Carsten Haitzler
> <raster at> wrote:
> > On Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:35:53 +0200 julien cubizolles <j.cubizolles at>
> > babbled:
> >
> >> 2 : I don't understand how "predicive" those two keyboards are. For me
> >> predictive would mean suggesting the n+1 (or n+p) character when I have
> >> pressed n keys. At the moment the only thing it does is suggesting
> >> several combination of n keys, to correct some typos I would have made.
> >> It's very annoying since the word I correctly typed isn't necessarily
> >> displayed among those suggestions. Is that how a "predictive" is
> >> supposed to work or am I missing something here ?
> >
> > with illume's keyboard (my one) in the latest illume's you get a
> > dictionary. it should be possible to create a french dictionary -
> > take /usr/share/dict/words from your desktop (i assume you have a french
> > one) and:
> How different is your keyboard from the Qtopia 'predictive keyboard' -
> I don't have a FR yet - so I can't try them out. It sounds, from the
> gestures that people describe and the images I've seen that they are
> remarkably similar. The Qtopia one is the best touchscreen keyboard
> I've ever used
> (tried it on an A780 w. OpenEZX...) so I'm curious :)

illume's is very similar. in "simple predictive mode" (really corrective) it
works very similarly - just bang on the keyboard roughly where you should press
and it'll spell-correct and look for a "best match" and list all matches from
best to worse and have a full popup (unlike the qtopia one) for all matches to
scroll through, click on that same popup icon when no word is being composed
and you get to flip dictionary, and top-right lets you select layout (as well
as slide-up). slide-down is a shortcut for enter in illume and left/right slide
are the same. illume's dictionary files are flat text though.

> Do you work out probabilities in a similar way to them? Can you switch
> off the predictive and use 'normal' mode?

yes. Terminal layout has almost all keys on a normal qwerty keyboard (ctrl,
alt, arrow keys etc.) and doesnt try and predict.

> If it is not vastly different, I'm interested to know the reasons you
> chose to make a separate one (not in an accusing aggressive way! Just
> out of curiousity - I assume there's a good reason :)

because it's small, uses efl for theming (thus matches the rest of the
wm/desktop env) and not tied to qt/qtopia, and the fact there are a lot of
people uncomfortable with qt/qtopia (partly due to history, partly to it being
GPL and not LGPL etc.). also i knew there were usability issues with it - it's
got a steep learning curve - changing layout is "luck" rthat you happen to
figure out sliding up/down changes it. it also has its layouts hard-coded in,
whereas illume's are config files thus easier to generate for users - same with
dictionaries. so i'm addressing the weak points of the qtopia keyboard,
mimicking its strong points as well as providing a small lean one that is

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) <raster at>

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